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Equipoint $61,626?

Fine fiscal catch by the Idaho Press-Tribune at Nampa, which asked and then made formal requests to learn how much money Canyon County spent on its abortive effort to crack down on businesses employing people who are in the country illegally.

That effort was launched, you might recall, by former Commissioner Robert Vasquez, who in 2006 ran for the U.S. House (coming in second in the Republican primary behind current Representative Bill Sali). The county filed lawsuits against four local companies (Swift Beef, Syngenta Seeds, Sorrento Lactalis, Harris Moran Seed), alleging they had hired illegal aliens and that this had cost the county money for various social and other services. It was the first time a local government had used the federal Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act against its own local businesses for this purpose.

Did that cost to the county amount to as much as $61,626? We may never know (and surely the commissioners didn’t), but that’s how much the county paid the Chicago law firm Johnson & Bell to pursue the case. Which the county eventually lost at both the federal district court and court of appeals levels.

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